Mastering Difficult Conversations: Full Program Series




Mastering Difficult Conversations: Full Program Series

Almost everyone finds certain conversations difficult or challenging. This 5 workshop program will help you change the way you think about so-called “difficult” conversations and transform them into “learning” conversations – ones that build relationships and reduce conflict.

The program consists of 5 two hour facilitated sessions using the free Zoom video app (only 4 if have done the introductory session through the SEA GLaM Seminar program).

The zoom sessions are practical in nature, involving small group work and include an action plan for practice between sessions. All workbooks and support resources are provided.


Murray Hopkins

Murray is a senior consultant with over 35 years experience in the private and public sectors. He is an excellent facilitator and coach particularly in the areas of leadership development as well as in bringing disparate groups into more cohesive teams. Murray was responsible for the co-design and facilitation of the Leading with Influence program for the Australian Government’s Department of the Environment and Energy (now called Agriculture, Water and the Environment). Murray is currently in demand from community groups for strategic planning and coaching support in his local community.

John Sautelle

Author of Choose Your Stories Change Your Life, John Sautelle is a highly experienced consultant, facilitator, mediator, senior executive coach and conference presenter. He has designed and delivered development programs on seven continents and presented internationally on a variety of topics including ‘Threat or Reward – Brain Science and Conflict’; ‘Future Trends – Action Learning Across Borders’; ‘Adaptive Challenges for Leaders’ and ‘Ride the Change Dragon’.

John has worked on some interesting projects including training action learning coaches in South Africa to work on community problems, assisting Senior Bombay High Court Advocates develop their mediation skills in Mumbai, and working in Dubai with emerging leaders from around the world.


For those who have already completed session 1 through the SEA GLaM Seminar Series.

Session 2: Tuesday 1 September
Session 3: Tuesday 15 September
Session 4: Tuesday 13 October
Session 5: Tuesday 17 November

For those who need to do all 5 sessions:

Session 1: Thursday 20 August
Session 2: Thursday 10 September
Session 3: Thursday 22 October
Session 4: Thursday 5 November
Session 5: Thursday 26 November

All Sessions run from 5pm – 7pm NSW time.

Cost: $370 + GST for Staff and Board Directors of SEA Members Schools for the Mastering Difficult Conversations program (5 sessions).


Session 1: Understanding my experience: This session provides a practical framework we can use to better understand how we create our experience and how that drives our actions.

Session 2: Managing defensiveness: This session builds on and deepens the work carried out in session one.  The focus then shifts to one of the key factors that make conversations difficult – how we respond when something is said or done that triggers strong defensive reactions.

  • Understanding the survival circuits in our brain and how they get activated
  • How common story “triggers” related to Identity, Seeking, Certainty, Autonomy, Relationship and Equity create reactivity and what to do about it

Session 3: Getting curious about their stories: The focus of this session is on ways we can approach understanding the other person’s experience before we go into a difficult conversation.

  • How to adopt multiple perspectives (self, other and observer) to gain more ideas about what else could be going on so we have more to work with in the conversation
  • Unconscious biases that come into play
  • Simple steps to defuse reactivity when survival circuits are activated in the other person

Session 4: Conducting Clear Conversations: This session brings together the skills and frameworks covered in Sessions 1-3 and focuses on preparing for, and managing difficult conversations, including:

  • A step-by-step guide on how to plan an effective “clear” conversation
  • How to invite the person into the conversation while reducing the chances of triggering a defensive reaction
  • Practical steps to manage the conversation
  • How to get agreement on the actions each person will take and what needs to happen to maintain the relationship.

 Session 5: Follow-up and Support

Everyone’s situation will be different and there will inevitably be questions about applying the skills you have developed. This session provides an opportunity to ask questions and work through some fine-tunes as you prepare for your real conversation or as a follow-up after you hold your conversation.

As part of the program package you will have 12-months access to repeat this follow-up session in which you can share your challenges and learning and receive ongoing support to apply the skills and frameworks covered in the program. You must have completed all 5 workshop sessions to participate in the repeat follow up sessions.


More information is available via the Mastering Difficult Conversations Website

Places are limited to 24 people per group so please register early to avoid missing out.

Register via Try Booking: